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Oct. 21, 1999

Columbus, Ohio – Na’il Diggs, Ohio State University’s terrific junior outside linebacker, has been named today one of 11 semi-finalists for the 1999 Butkus Award, which is awarded annually by the Downtown Athletic Club of Orlando to the nation’s outstanding linebacker.

Diggs is currently second on the Buckeyes with 59 tackles (41 solos, 18 assists) through seven games and he leads the team with 11 tackles-for-loss (-34 yards) and four quarterback sacks (-21 yards). He also has forced three fumbles, broken up two passes and has one fumble recovery.

His highlights this season include a 10-tackle, four-tackle-for-loss opener vs. No. 13 Miami, 10 tackles with three TFLs vs. Cincinnati, a career-high 14 tackles with a forced fumble and fumble recovery vs. Wisconsin, and six tackles, including a fumble forcing, end zone quarterback sack that led to Ohio State’s only touchdown vs. No. 2 Penn State.

Diggs is joined on the semi-finalist list by LaVar Arrington (Penn State), Marcus Bell (Arizona), James Hall (Michigan), Dhani Jones (Michigan), Dan Morgan (Miami, Fla.), Brandon Short (Penn State), Mark Simoneau (Kansas State), Barrin Simpson (Mississippi State), Jamel Smith (Virginia Tech) and Raynoch Thompson (Tennessee).

On Thursday, Nov. 11, the Downtown Athletic Club of Orlando will anounce the three finalists for this year’s Butkus Award via a national teleconference. The 1999 Butkus Award winner will be announced at the Butkus Award Gala in Hard Rock Live at Universal Studios CityWalk Friday, Dec. 10.

Ohio State has had one previous Butkus Award winner. Andy Katzenmoyer won the award as a sophomore in 1997.